If you were to set up your organisation tomorrow, would you keep the same workforce arrangements you have today? Many business structures evolve organically. Others have been guided by what was once the most tax efficient option. That means that the mix of workers and contracts you have in place may no longer be right for your business – or your workforce.
Demand for flexible employment arrangements has soared over the past decade. Alongside your full-time employees, you must now manage an ever-growing list of contractors and self-employed personnel. It’s critical you get this right. One wrong step could expose you to significant financial, legal and reputational risks.
The way a person is labelled and operates at work – employed, self-employed or worker – has a big impact on the way they’re taxed and the legal rights they can claim. You must make sure your people’s contracts truly reflect their daily realities. If they don’t, you could face legal claims, HMRC investigations and criticism that you’re not meeting your moral obligations.
Last year, the Taylor Review thrust the issue of workforce status firmly in the media spotlight. Your workforce is now much more aware of the rights they’re entitled to. When your people feel that you haven’t acted with integrity, they’re quick to escalate their complaint. The removal of employment tribunal claim fees in 2017 empowered your workforce to take formal action when their complaints are mismanaged. Your organisation is expected to get this right.
Amid growing media and public scrutiny, you must take steps to make sure everyone at your organisation is on a contract that truly reflects the reality of what they do each day. This will be a time-intensive and complex exercise, so it’s important you set aside the proper time and resources to do it properly. Remember, that when you get it right, you’ll significantly reduce your risk profile and increase your workforce stability in uncertain times. Your people will also welcome the chance to work in a way that suits them, leading to better engagement, morale and productivity.
Make sure you move with the times.
Download our new forces at work guide to find out the key steps you need to take.